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10 March 2020
By The Early Years and Childcare Service

What Happens During a Childminder Early Years Non-graded Inspection?

When there are no early years children on roll or present, the inspection of a childminder will take the form of a check to ensure that a provider continues to be suitable to remain on the Early Years Register and if applicable the Childcare Register. This check results in a judgement on the ‘overall quality and standards of the early years provision’, rather than a grade. Three possible outcomes are ‘met’, ‘not met with actions’ and ‘not met with enforcements’.

As with any inspection, the inspector will explore your knowledge on all the points of the framework, asking questions around provision and examples of planned activities for a variety of ages, stages, abilities and needs. The inspector will also assess the suitability of your premises for the education and care of children and may ask to walk through the whole property.

In preparation for such an inspection, it would be useful to consider the following:

  • Have you previously had children at your setting that you could use as examples to demonstrate how you identified their starting points, supported progress in their learning through the provision of an exciting learning environment and through observing and planning to meet their individual interests and schemas?
  • Can you describe particular activities and opportunities you have provided for children of different ages/abilities and why you have provided them?
  • Are you able to give examples of how extra funding has been used in the past, such as the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) or Disability Access Fund (DAF) to support and enrich a child’s learning and development and the environment as a whole?
  • Can you demonstrate an understanding of current safeguarding issues and familiarity of the statutory safeguarding and welfare requirements.? Are you able to describe how you keep yourself up to date for example by reading the regular safeguarding newsletters provided by The Education People?
  • If you are a childminder (or other provision) on the Early Years Register but you are only providing care exclusively for children at the beginning and end of the school day or in holiday periods can you demonstrate a clear understanding of Annex A of the Early Years Inspection Handbook? Even if solely providing before and after school or holiday care does not apply, the inspector could still explore your level of knowledge.

You should be aware that Ofsted has an inspection deferral policy and having no children on role is not considered to be a valid request for a deferral. During your initial phone call, you can let the inspector know if you only have early years children on particular days and they may arrange to inspect accordingly.

Regardless of the type of inspection that is required for a setting, the following quote from Gill Jones, Deputy Director of Ofsted, is useful to keep in mind:

“I want childminders and nurseries to focus on what matters: looking after young children in a safe environment in which they learn and develop well. We certainly don’t want anyone in an early years setting to do anything specifically for Ofsted, and which creates extra work for them. That is why we have worked hard in recent years to dispel myths about what Ofsted does and doesn’t want when we carry out inspections”.